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Canadian Poll shows support for limitations on abortion

by | Jul 5, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Anti-abortion protesters take part in the National March for Life demonstration on Parliament Hill in Ottawa May 10, 2012.

As NRL News Today has outlined many, many times, abortion on demand is no catch-phrase in Canada; it is the truth. Canada has not had an abortion law since 1988.

Pro-life Canadians have long argued there is support for limitations, a contention buttressed by a new poll commissioned by Postmedia News and Global TV and conducted by Ipsos Reid.

(Naturally the largely pro-abortion Canadian press plays the results its own even-handed way, starting with running a huge photo of a pro-abortion rally—complete with a gigantic coat hanger. Nonetheless…)

“The State of Canadian Values” finds a near parity between those who says abortion “should be permitted whenever a woman wants one” (49%) and those who say abortion “should be permitted  in certain circumstances” (45%).

The potential to dig deep—which is what Gallup has done over the years in the United States—was wide open. What exactly ARE those “certain circumstances”?

Instead the poll asked only “Do you support or oppose the introduction of a law in Canada that places limits on when a woman can have an abortion during her pregnancy, such as during the last trimester?” It’s helpful to know that 60% say they would, including 62% of females. It would have been more helpful to delve deeper.

The National Post’s Mark Kennedy writes that  Ipsos Reid president Darrell Bricker told that Post that “the findings on abortion show that public opinion on the politically charged issue isn’t simple.”

Bricker said, “The Canadian public has a fairly nuanced, complicated view on this. And it’s more nuanced than those who are fighting on both sides of this debate.”

The National Post reports that support for abortion in any circumstance “is highest among affluent Canadians and those with a university degree. In the regions, support for unrestricted access is highest in Quebec (60%), followed by British Columbia (52%).”

Pressure on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to “reopen” the abortion debate has been persistent. He has been no less persistent in saying he won’t.

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Categories: Abortion